RTBC Day Two: Video Games in the Classroom

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Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Two: Write about one piece of technology you would like to try this year, and why. What are you hoping to see of this edtech integration?

Mario Kart. League of Legends. Grand Theft Auto 3 and FIFA 3 Online. I polled my middle and high school Korean students a few weeks ago and these are their top favorite video games. This year I would like to use all of them in the classroom in some capacity.

Slide1Effective teachers cater to their students’ interests, and introduce content in ways that make it relatable to them. Especially when it comes to my male students, what better way to get them engaged than to play a clip of a pre-recorded game or a montage of epic moves? In a perfect world I would have access to my own game console (a PlayStation 2, an XBox, or a Wii) but for now I’ll settle for YouTube clips. Bottom line: I want my students to get excited about what they’re learning, and be motivated to think about/use English outside of class. Of course, the whole lesson cannot be spent playing or watching these games. But I really believe they have the potential to be a great jumping-off point or a cool way to sum up a lesson.

There are plenty of articles out there that further champion the use of video games in the classroom, but they’re moreso talking on an abstract level. I have yet to find very many great articles that spell out real and effective ways video games can be incorporated specifically into an ESL setting, so any suggestions of resources or personal recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

So far, I’ve cooked up one idea to use a pre-recorded FIFA 3 Online clip to segway into a lesson on colors. Students will watch the clip, and afterward I’ll introduce the color vocabulary. Then they’ll watch the clip again and write down how many different colored jerseys they see. From there, we’ll play some more review games to solidify acquisition of the color vocab and conclude with an activity describing their favorite team’s uniform! Thoughts? I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

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